For Gideon | Sam Update
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Sam Update

Hi friends! We know many of you have asked about our adoption and how Sam is doing, so we thought we’d share a little bit more with you! This blog post is unlisted, meaning you need a direct link to find it. We ask that you not share publicly any of the photos or identifying information about our Sam below. And just a note, there are lots of new photos in the slider at the bottom of the post! Because let’s be real, you’re here to see that sweet face! 🙂

On October 5, we officially marked two years since beginning our journey to Sam. On one hand, it feels unbelievable that it’s been that long. On the other, it feels like we’ve been waiting forever. We first saw Sam’s face in spring 2017, so it’s been a long, LONG journey to our boy! Never in a million years did we think we’d still be waiting two years after we signed the first application, with no official end in sight. But then again, never in a million years did we foresee this winding path to our TWO sweet boys, so we hold tight to the promise that God’s plans are bigger and better than ours!

Sam has been growing and learning so much this year! When we first matched with Sam, his biggest need (and our biggest fear) was that he was not talking at all. He actually wasn’t even making any verbal sounds, not even when he cried. But a few months after we matched with Sam in March 2021, he began repeating “mama” and “baba” (dad) and showing interest in verbal speech! Over the past year or so, he’s gone from a few words here and there to singing along with songs and babbling all the time! He has also started walking to class from his foster home without being carried, and he just learned how to jump too. We cannot wait until we have two boys constantly talking and jumping together!

As far as our adoption process, things remain at a standstill. We have been preliminarily matched with Sam, meaning that no one else can match with him. But our dossier remains “in translation,” just short of formal, legal match. China stopped all adoption paperwork in July 2021, just before we should have received our formal “match” on a typical timeline, so we continue to wait for the process to reopen and paperwork to resume. At this point, everything hinges (or so we’re told) on China reopening to travel. They have remained closed to outside travel since January 2020, in response to COVID. There have been recent moves toward reopening, including business people and international students, and including reducing quarantine from 30 days, to 15 days, to 10 days, to 7 days. But at this point, we still don’t know when borders will reopen. Rumors abound, and every time we seem to take one step forward, another round of lockdowns happens again. If we were in non-COVID times, the process to Sam would have been roughly 8 months, start to finish. We’ve exceeded that just waiting on this current step of the process!

Many of you have asked if we are still fundraising. The short answer is yes and no. We paused fundraising when our fees were caught up and our process slowed to a stop. That said, we still have a large financial gap for this adoption – to the tune of about $25,000. Eek, just writing that out gets our hearts racing again! We are praying and trusting that, when the time comes, the Lord will meet our need and help us get our boy home. So all that said, we are always grateful for when God stirs hearts to give toward our sweet Sam! But we also understand that many will want to wait until we get closer (and until we have t-shirts again, haha!), and that is totally okay. We have about $3,000 left in our current adoption account, which will get us through the next home study update (not included in the $25,000 above). All of our giving links remain active, including Lifesong, which allows tax-deductible giving. There are some fees, including the $6000 orphanage fee, that Lifesong will NOT let us cover with funds given through them, which is why our other giving links remain active as well (for those who don’t need a tax-deductible giving option).

Venmo: @callietroyer (phone number verification is 4890)

PayPal: @briantroyer